I’m pretty sure I’m losing my voice. I’s been pretty rough the last couple days and having a job talking on the phone for eight hours straight it surprisingly unhelpful. hmm.
So that last entry was maybe borderline angst-y. I think I was channeling my seventeen year old self for awhile there. Anyway, I’m trucking along with my manuscript, but I know I have many mountains to climb before I finish it.
Anyway, I thought I’d share my latest wedding craft, my toss bouquet. I basically wanted some more practice before I attempt my real bouquet, as I want it to be slightly more elaborate than the others. Forgive me, I didn’t write down the names of the flowers, like this one. I liked the grassy-type accent, and at the top of the greenery it looks like it has little mini lilies that I love, so this is the first step, choppy choppy! All together it really looks like a tuft of grass, which isn’t exactly cute. I drove Justin crazy while we were looking at flowers because I kept picking up the grass stuff then deciding against it, over…and over…and over again. Justin was a very good sport about it though, and he said he liked it, so I kept them. Basically, I cut each and every individual leaf off of the main stem one at a time (Justin tried to get a picture of that, but he may or may not have been drinking, so by giving him my camera it was basically like saying “here! Do as you please and take lots of random pictures of me with a lap full of flowers!” Yeah..) anyway, I’m sure you can picture the cutting process, it took some time, but not as much time as the next step…hot glue! Yes, after cutting all the leaves apart, I glues pieces of them back together, as the picture shows. Why? I’m a little crazy and neurotic when it comes to my crafts. I wanted to be able to have the green accent throughout the bouquet and with exactly how much green/flower I preferred, so I spent about an hour hot gluing. I also do not recommend hot glue guns to be in the hands of semi-drunk fiance’s, as they seem to think it’s funny to try to wax your arm with hot glue! He’s lucky he’s cute.
Here are the bulk of the flowers for the bouquet. Again, I’m pretty horrible with remembering to jot down what type of flower I picked up, so all I know from this bunch are the roses in the middle. I get pretty obsessive when I’m picking out flowers for all this. I think I spent half an hour just in flowers holding different combinations of flowers together asking Justin “what do you think?” like a parrot. I’m sure Justin could care less if I went with the small white rosebuds or the small red rosebuds, but again, he has the patience of a saint and is a great sport. I chose white and red for this bouquet to reflect the one I have mapped out in my head for my ceremony one. All my bridesmaids will have the white bouquets I made up earlier, and will be wearing red dresses. Since I’ll be wearing white (ha) my bouquet it going to be primarily red. Kind of off-set things a bit, I think it will work! Btw… this is what I’m thinking for my bouquet, only in red. I’m in love with the cascading look here, and especially because my dress is a big on the simple side and solid white, I want a major pop of color to really bring it out. I’m really at a loss for how to get the cascading effect without having to worry about it falling apart, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.
Back to the bouquet at hand. This is how it starts out, I take a few pieces and secure them in place with flower wire. I add a couple pieces at a time because I really, really, really like to change my mind about every single little detail. Doing the arrangement part in steps allows me to 1) keep it together without enlisting the help of an extra pair of hands and 2) let me change my mind and go back without starting from the beginning. I do a lot of trial and error with this. I literally have no expierience with flower arrangement. Not with real flowers or silk ones. Nada. I do think I have a little knack for it though, but if I were handling real flowers I’d probably kill them, I’m really rough when I’m tying things together. This bouquet got extra wire and hot glue, since it’s going to get thrown, haha. and here is the semi-finished result! I wrapped the ribbon by hand and secured it with hot glue and added the different color accent and pearls on the handle just to give it a finished touch. I really didn’t want it to look like it was just a second thought since someone is actually going to catch it and look at it, I want them to think I did a good job (or think it’s professional! haha) But honestly, I really love arranging flowers! I’m actually thinking of maybe setting up a Etsy.com shop once the wedding is over so I can continue to create things when all is said and done. I’m just loving the expierience, and I love accomplishing things myself. I mean, in the big scheme of things these little details really don’t matter that much, but it’s the work and the satisfaction I get that really counts. Here’s a view of the toss bouquet from the top. I wish pictures could really give it justice, it looks pretty awesome. I like how my green accents came out, Justin did make the right call telling me to go with them! haha. Tonight I’m going to attempt the corsages for our moms, dads, and his grandparents. That will leave 4 more bridesmaid bouquets (I’ll probably finish those up next week), my main bouquet, and I’m going to try my hand at a “real” arrangement in memory of my grandmas. I’m not sure what I’ll put into that, I’ve been sticking to red and white, but I might add another splash of some color to make those flowers really special. After that the flowers will be finished! Completely done and with seven months to spare. Tonight after the corsages are done I’ll start printing the envelopes for the save the dates, which I printed up last night. I’ll post a picture of those along with what our invitation looks like all printed. It’s really not anything super fancy, I really wasn’t going to put a whole lot of money into something people will read once, reference maybe half a dozen times, and then toss. As much as I’d love to go all out, I realize there are more important things we can spend the money on, like booze =)
In completely unrelated news, the sky opened up yesterday and dumped more than 6 inches of snow on us. I seriously hate the snow/cold, but the only alternative is to move somewhere warm where there are spiders as big as my fist, so I’m pretty much screwed. At least it’s pretty snow, I’ll have to take a picture of our yard to keep during summer when I complain about how hot it is.
I’ll probably be updating tomorrow with my adventure in corsage making, until then you can entertain yourself here. Hope you’re staying warm, wherever you are!

Except for one little wedding detail I left out…
A closeup of the bridesmaid flowers! The picture I posted yesterday really didn’t do them much justice, huh? I’ll admit, I’m not real sure what the little bitty white flowers are, but they really give it a put together look. I was originally just going to go with half a dozen big calla lilies for the bridesmaids, but then I thought it might look a little weird, they’re all a little on the small and vertically challenged side (Love you guys!! haha) so maybe carrying huge flowers might just over power them and the dresses, and I’d rather my wonderful friends be the focus of the pictures and not the flowers. I’m pleasantly surprised how easy the flowers were to pick out and arrange. I basically started with the calla lilies and walked up and down the white section of the floral wall picking out flowers and comparing them with the lilies, putting them back, and repeating until I found what fit together best. Yet another reason silk is so much better than real. I think I might even hit hit them with essential oil to make them smell better. I was thinking of setting up our spare bedroom with a couple oil burners and letting the flowers sit in there for a couple hours the day before the wedding and give them a more floral scent…no one will be the wiser! haha.

Anyway, I said back to cooking, and I meant it…for the most part. Yesterday I made stuffed pork chops, again just throwing ingredients together and hoping for the best..
First, I took just general thin sliced pork chops. Notice my technique with the butt of the knife? I realized yesterday we are desperately in need of a meat mallet…will be going on the registry. We’ve been living there with the same kitchen appliances for a year and this has been the first time I ever needed one…go figure! haha Anyway. I made the pork chop slices as thin as possible to aim for a quicker cooking time and much easier handling, you’ll see why here in a minute. Pork is a wonderful thing to cook with. It’s not as tough as beef and it’s not as touchy as chicken, if that makes any sense at all. Also, I make chicken all the time because I love it, but Justin’s pretty sick of it. haha. The second step (or you can make it first, whatever) is the stuffing. I don’t know about you, but I adore home made stuffing, but who has the time for it? Seriously? I get it on Thanksgiving, that’s about it. So I make instant. ha. I used Stouffers cornbread stuffing for this recipe because it’s my favorite, but I’m sure you can use just about anything and it will taste good. Or you can just stuff them with whatever is handle. Tomatoes? Sure. Olives? Celery and onion? The possibilities are pretty much endless when it comes to stuffing, you really don’t have to use bread or bread products. I chopped up a few celery sticks and a couple small onions to the stuffing mix just to give it a little more flavor, but if you don’t like the taste of onion or whatever no need to do it. I should have been born in Thailand or something, I love seasoning and intense flavor almost to the point of overpowering…poor Justin 😉 But I behave myself when I’m cooking for others. I’m a terrible baker due to my experimenting, but I’m an excellent cook. Anyway. Make the stuffing, let it cool off, add the celery and onion, onto the next step… This part is kinda gross. in order to keep everything together you have to get in there and really kneed the stuffing into a ball and flatten it onto the pork. Put as much in as you like. Justin and I like stuffing so I put in as much as possible, but some might be more into the pork flavor than stuffing. Up to you! The next step is to literally wrap the stuffing in pork. This is where very, very, very thin meat is very helpful, the meat needs to be flexible. If all goes according to plan and the meat is thin enough it should pretty much just stick together. If you’re having trouble keeping it together try eliminating some of the stuffing from the inside. I used Giant Eagle brand pork, but I don’t think it really matters. I don’t have any expierience with any other, so there’s my disclaimer if, say, Wal Mart pork doesn’t do what you tell it to. 🙂
Onto the cooking!
I used a skillet for these, which in hindsight may not have been such a great idea. They cooked a little unevenly so I kept having to hold the rolled pork on its side so it would cook, haha. Next time I make these I might try baking or broiling, just so it will cook evenly. I recently fell in love with the broiling method of cooking, especially for crispy potatoes. Anyway, back to pork: a nice little trick to keep the pork together is to initially land the pork on the side where everything comes together, it kind of cooks together and stays put very well. I sprinkled some Parmesan cheese on these bad boys because I didn’t want to go too crazy, but I’ll probably add a crunchy breading with parm, some spices, and mozzarella cheese next time I make them, the outside was lacking something. I tend to overdo things initially though, so I thought I might ease Justin into these. When these little beauties are done, they should have a nice gold/brown color. Remember, pink and pork do not go well together! There will be no medium rare pigs running around my kitchen. haha.
Overall I think they turned out rather well for a random brainstorming during a lazy Sunday afternoon. Justin ate them right up, and he’s by biggest priority. I’ll admit, he’s not exactly the pickiest eater I’ve ever met, I like to affectionately refer to him as my breathing vacuum cleaner when it comes to food. 🙂 He’s also the perfect match for my eccentric cooking skills. He’ll let me know if I crossed the line, and if I crossed the line for Justin then I know I’m in bad, bad, very bad territory. haha. I’m glad he can deal with my cooking though, sometimes I hit something perfect, other times I go a little overboard, but I can usually pull together a pretty kickass meal. I think my next conquest is going to be wedding soup. It’s still soup season, although I do with it would warm up.
Anyway, that’s it for now. Tomorrow I’ll be complaining again about the price of textbooks, as spring semester 2008 is right around the corner!

I’m loving planning this wedding, really I am. But when I’m told it is about 500$ for flowers, things that will die, yeah, no way, jose. I think I’m going to make my own. Silk flowers. Can keep them too, damnit.

I went with Lori to the florist today, here’s how they broke it down:

  • Bridal Bouquet – $110.00
  • Bridal Toss Bouquet – $20.00
  • 5 Bridesmaid Bouquets – $150.00
  • Flower Girl Halo – $25.00
  • Groom Boutonniere – $5.00
  • 9 Boutonnieres – $36.00
  • 3 corsages – $36.00
  • Wedding arch, rented – $100.00
    Grand Total, plus tax = Over $500!

    Yikes! I’m trolling the internet right now for silk flowers in bulk, and plan on hitting Pat Catan’s the day after Christmas with Lori. So that’s that.

    Anyhow. I’m writing a book. Those are kind of heavy words, but I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and I’ve started half a dozen times, but I could never work up enough courage to really keep at it. It’s scary, putting yourself out there. (coming from the girl with a blog. oiy.) But really. I guess we’ll see how that turns out. Who knows what you can do unless you try!